• Chapter 9: God Help Us!

    December 7, 2015
  • The weather was getting much colder and my beloved Cowboys were on a winning streak. I can't see them play from North Carolina. I usually find out the score the next day or so. We didn't have smart phones back then. We didn't have cell phones at all. We didn't even know what the internet was. So I had to find out through reading the paper, the old fashioned way.

    Every day was the same thing. We trained and practiced and took classes on what we needed to do and what we should expect in Saudi Arabia. But nothing can really prepare you for what was about to happen. It just has to happen, then you adjust, then you overcome. That's what marines do; improvise, adapt, and overcome.

    The picture I've included here is a squad of marines in MOPP 4 gear. M.O.P.P. stands for Mission Oriented Protective Posture. This was the gear they gave us that was going to protect us from the chemical attacks that we fully expected from Saddam Hussein's fierce Republican Guard. There are five MOPP levels.

    • MOPP Level 0 — Protective mask carried. Suit, gloves, and boots accessible/available.
    • MOPP Level 1 — Suit worn. Mask, gloves and boots carried.
    • MOPP Level 2 — Suit and boots worn. Gloves and mask carried.
    • MOPP Level 3 — Suit, boots and mask worn. Gloves carried.
    • MOPP Level 4 — All protection worn.

    We had to learn how to live in these suits in order to survive. We had to eat, sleep, work, run, and shoot wearing MOPP 4 gear. There is a substance lining the inside of the suit, some say its some type of powdery carbon while others called it charcoal. Whatever it was, it rubbed off on you. When I wore the suit for a long period of time, I looked dark skinned when I took it off. Regardless, we had to feel comfortable in this gear and learn how to drink and eat with our protective mask on.

    Sanctions against Iraq were not convincing Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait. It's like he wants to fight. How stupid is he? Doesn't he know he can't win? Is he so arrogant that he really thinks he can defeat us? Or are we the arrogant ones? Soon enough, we would know the answer. God help us!

    "The Lord is my strength and my shield;
        in him my heart trusts, and I am helped."

    - Psalm 28:7